Oklahoma Baptist University

Alum to Celebrate Centennial through Tenor Performance

Dr. Arnold Rawls, a 1982 OBU alum, will participate in his alma mater's Centennial Celebration by showcasing his unique vocal tenor skills in a recital in Raley Chapel's Yarborough Auditorium on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. The community is invited to attend the free performance.

Rawls will be accompanied by pianist Mark Armstrong and assisted by soprano Carter Scott. The recital will include selections by Ludwig van Beethoven, Frances Alittsen, Olive Dungan, Ovid Young, Michael T. Smith, Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini.

During the 2009-10 season, Rawls sang the role of Radamès in "Aida" with the Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria, Manrico in "Il Trovatore" with the Seattle Opera, Bacchus in "Ariadne auf Naxos" with the Indianapolis Opera, Turiddu and Canio in "Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci" with the Pensacola Opera, and Erik in "Der fliegende Holländer" with the Madison Opera. He also joins the Las Vegas Philharmonic in a gala concert.

Future seasons include Rawls' debuts with the Opera Company of Philadelphia as Verdi's Otello and with Oper Frankfurt in a double bill of "L'Oracolo" by Leoni and "Le Villi" by Puccini, as well as Apollo in Strauss' "Daphne." Rawls has return engagements with Seattle Opera as Foresto in "Attila" and Bacchus in "Ariadne auf Naxos," Calaf in "Turandot" with Arizona Opera, and he returns to Austria for the Bregenzer Festspiele as Radamès in "Aida," as well as the title role in "Andrea Chènier."

Rawls is also a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the University of Oklahoma, where he earned his doctorate of musical arts. He served on faculty as artist in residence/professor at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for 13 years. He was minister of music at First Baptist Church, Ada, Okla., and Spring Creek Baptist Church, Oklahoma City. He and his wife, Dr. Julie Rawls, live in Edmond, Okla., with their two children, Graham and Madison.

Armstrong is principal pianist and vocal coach on the staff of Tulsa Opera, a position he has held since August of 2002, collaborating on more than 25 opera productions with the company. Since 2006, he has also worked regularly with The Dallas Opera and, during the summer, he frequently serves as assistant conductor at Central City Opera. He also held appointments on the faculties of the University of Oklahoma and the State University of New York at Potsdam. Armstrong is a native of Vermont and was educated in music and mathematics at Boston University, Potsdam College and the University of Michigan, where he earned a master's degree in piano accompanying and chamber music. For several years, he resided in the New York City area, performing regularly as a freelance accompanist and vocal coach. During that time, he appeared twice at the Judith Raskin Memorial Recitals with winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Competition. He has also worked with Opera Colorado, the Banff Summer Festival in Banff, Canada, and at Opera in the Ozarks in Eureka Springs, Ark.

Scott received tremendous critical and audience acclaim when she stepped into the title role of Turandot with Fort Worth Opera in May 2008. Turandot has become one of her signature roles; she has sung it more than 40 times in Europe and South Korea, as well as having covered it at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Santa Fe Opera.

Having sung for several years as a mezzo-soprano, Scott began her move to the soprano repertoire as Nedda in "Pagliacci" with Mobile Opera. She also appeared with the Jarvis Zarzuela Festival in Napa Valley in the title role of Luisa Fernanda. In addition, she has performed with numerous companies throughout the country including Opera Pacific, Opera San Jose, Virginia Opera, Pensacola Opera and Piedmont Opera. She made her Carnegie Hall debut singing Mozart's "Laudate Dominum" and Chilcott's "Jubilate."

Scott is a recipient of many distinguished awards and grants, including the 1996 William Matheus Sullivan Award, as well as awards from the Metropolitan Opera, Southern California Opera Guild and the Luciano Pavarotti Vocal Competition. Her vocal training includes study at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of California, the Music Academy of the West, the Tanglewood Festival and the American School of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.

For more information on Rawls' music, click here.

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